As we officially head into the fall season around here, I wanted to take some time to pause and reflect on the last three months for myself and progress on yearly goals. While the third quarter of the year is not technically 100 days long, I’ve been thinking about my Q3 of this year as our first 100 days of marriage and what it looks like to invest in that well. I’ve also focused on what investment in myself looks like this quarter too. Below you’ll find what progress has been made in each of the 3 focuses for my year – space for love, space for living, and space for legacy.
Space for Living
- Focus on budgeting – We transitioned to a spreadsheet for budgeting after getting married. I tend to be good at creating a system, so I set up what it looked like to log where we were spending and then entered it on a weekly basis. Over time, after the new spreadsheet was created, while I knew it was important, I found myself not prioritizing it. Teddy tends to enjoy reviewing accounts more than I do, so we transitioned the task from me to him and I’ve been very thankful for his help keeping it up to date.
- Quarterly retreat for rest and relaxation with Teddy – We spent 3 weekends camping together during the quarter as well as took a short weekend trip to the Lake Michigan areas and went to the beach with family for a weekend. These have been some favorite memories from the summer.
- Spending Time Outdoors – We hiked about 10 miles total over the last three months which is low for us. We have spend time at the beach, out on walks, and around the campfire though which has been great for our time outdoors.
- Visit new state and National Parks – We were able to add another shared National Park to our list on our Michigan trip when we visited Indiana Sand Dunes. We also have explored 4 new to us state parks in PA and 1 in Indiana.
- Garage Cleanout – We did a bit of this over the summer though more is upcoming. We let go of some items we didn’t use and organized some of the space in the garage.
- Quarterly focus for learning – I read 35 books over the last three months with about 11 of them being non fiction. I listened to about 25 podcasts that average about 30 minutes each over those 3 months which is about 4 hours of podcasts a month, or about 1 hour a week in podcasts. I usually will listen while I’m working out, walking, driving, or cooking.
- Sabbath – We’ve been intentional to practice this on a weekly basis and may have missed 1 week, but overall have really tried to observe this well and slow down, not work, and just savor the outdoors, learning for fun, connecting, and enjoying life.
Space for Love
- Chronological Bible – Still chipping away at this. If we assume there were 92 days in QE (which Google said is accurate), then I did the Bible recap about 60/90 days. Slow progress is better than no progress but I’m still working on finishing before the end of the year.
- Prayer Daily – Out of 92 days, this one has occurred maybe 40 or so. But of those 40, there have been some incredible conversations I’ve been able tp have with God and I can genuinely say that when I approached prayer a little differently in on a day in Q3, my prayer life has changed forever. I’ll share more about this in the future but to summarize it, I just turned praying to god into an open conversation with God. Might sound similar but it’s been wildly different.
- Host people – We’ve been able to host people at our house about twice month whether for a meal or intentional conversation.
- Routines – About halfway through the quarter, I read about morning pages which has really jumpstarted my morning routine again with intention. We’ve kept a weekly date night routine, and the Sabbath weekly. We’ve also been trying to have a weekly tidy routine at home and provide a day of the week that certain chores get done so we don’t feel like a whole weekend day is spent on cleaning. This is still a work in progress.
- Weekly Planning – Planning on Fridays at work has been really helpful before starting the weekend. At home, I’ve been doing most of my planning on Sunday afternoon or evening before the upcoming week starts. This includes meals, groceries and their ordering, as well as workouts, what I’ll be reading, chores, and plans.
- Remington Training – We took him camping and had our first trip ever where we were able to leave him in the crate for a bit while we went to the PSU game and he did excellent. We use a camera to keep an eye on him but we were so proud of how well he did.
Space for Legacy
- Intentional Blogs – I wrote 19 blogs in Q3. Normally I would have written 27 or so but took some time off during our wedding and honeymoon weeks and shortly after. This is an area where I am to be more consistent through end of year since there won’t be any large events other than a week away.
- Invest in myself – This overlaps a bit with the podcasts and books, but in addition to those I spent time on a few other things during Q3 as well. I took an online course on rhythms and routines and started a certification program in Q3.
Jon Acuff talks about having a scoreboard in his recent book, All It Takes Is a Goal. This is where you can actually see numerically the things you’ve done to make progress on your goals. I have found this to be so helpful and didn’t realize how much I already had in place to do this. I’ll share a few example of what this can look like.
- I track in a list on my phone what PA State Parks we visit and when
- I track the books I read in Good Reads
- I use All Trails to document our hiking milage and they break it down by month for you
- Spotify isn’t great at showing the number or how many podcasts you’ve listened to during a particular month, but I was able to spend some time manually figuring it out
- I have a list in Notion of what the topic will be for each blog post and when they go out, so I can see how many were written during a period of time
- I track our National Park visits in a shared note on my phone with Teddy
- I have things like Sabbath, weekly date night, and our marriage check ins scheduled on our calendar, so it’s rare we miss one. Sometimes we may need to move it a day but we try to avoid missing it as much as possible since it’s one of the first things added to our calendar.
- Similarly when we host people at the house, I keep it in the calendar so can manually count them on a quarterly basis.
If you’re finding that you aren’t sure where you’re at in making progress on your goals, try finding ways to keep a scorecard and track your progress. Doing it monthly or quarterly basis can be much more approachable than doing it on a yearly basis.